Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced in a press conference that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is charging multiple Russian nationals and companies for their alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
In a press conference the afternoon of February 16, 2018, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that a federal grand jury had indicted 13 Russian individuals and three companies. The 37-page indictment was signed off by Special Counsel Robert Mueller himself.
The defendants are suspected of spreading derogatory information about Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The indictment claims the defendants supported Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The defendants are accused of spreading derogatory information about their targets throughout the 2016 campaign. They also allegedly supported Trump’s presidential campaign by “early to mid-2016,” the indictment says.
According to Robert Mueller and his office, the defendants stole people’s identities to buy online advertisements. They also allegedly posed as various Americans on social media and organized political rallies in support of Trump.
The Charges Levied by Robert Mueller
According to the special counsel, the indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy to defraud the United States, three defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft.
The 13 Russian nationals facing charges are: Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin; Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov; Mikhail Leonidovich Burchik; Aleksandra Yuryevna Krylova; Anna Vladislavovna Bogacheva; Sergey Pavlovich Polozov; Maria Anatolyrvna Bovda; Robert Sergetevich Bovda; Dzheykhun Nasimi Ogly; Vadim Vladimirovich Podkopaev; Gleb Igorevich Vasilchenko; Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina; and Vladimir Venkov.
The three Russian entities that face charges are Internet Research Agency LLC, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, and Concord Catering.
Live Press Conference
Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel probe, alleged during a live press conference that the defendants used hundreds of fake Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to spread their message to voters.
He added that the defendants allegedly used a computer system partly based in the United States to hide their location. Rosenstein stressed that there were no Americans who participated in the scheme.
Below is a clip from the press conference:
Indictments issued against 13 Russian nationals over 2016 election interference.
Here’s how they did it:
– Posed as politically active Americans
– Purchased political ads on social media
— CNN (@CNN) February 16, 2018